Our 10 acre Big Lake is home to a good head of common and mirror carp up to 34lb with plenty of 20lb+ fish cruising around. This makes it a popular venue with carpers all year round.
Depths vary from 4 – 8ft, including gravel bars.
It is fast becoming a popular choice for matches with recent competitions here proving very tight with plenty of fish being caught
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11 pairs eagerly awaited the first hooter at Willow Park with all the anglers expecting some early action. First off the mark was Nik Young & John Tadgell in peg 3. Hot on their heels were last year runners up in this qualifier, Ryan Gardner & Andy Knights. Losing an early fish, they soon slipped their net under their first fish of the match.
The afternoon past quietly with no more action to come. It was not until the early evening before the fish got on the munch. A quick fire double for peg 12’s Scott Beasley & Matt Eaton saw them shoot to the top of the leaderboard with 27lb 10oz. Peg 9’s Bruce Larg & Mark Strevens got amongst the action with a fish of 16lb 04oz. Peg 11’s Marc Cavaciuti & Rob Burgess who had came out last in the draw caught their first fish weighing 20lb 10oz.
Moments later it was last years 3rd place pairing of Kev Clarke & Ste Sherwood to slip the net under their first fish of the match, closely followed by their 2nd & 3rd to take the lead. Gardner & Knights added another before peg 5’s Terry Donaldson & Jason Gutteridge landed what was to be the biggest fish of the match, a 25lb 12oz Common at midnight.
As the sun rose on Willow it was peg 7’s Terry Clayton & Rich Austin who made the first call to the marshalls to weigh their first fish of the match. Only Gardner & Knights added another in the morning feeding spell pushing them into the lead.
As the day past it was apparent and try as they might, the Willow fish had shut up shop. The anglers tried all they could but to no avail. As the morning turned into the afternoon, Gardner & Knights made a tactical decision to change the colour of their Zigs and they were rewarded with 3 fish in a 1 hour window.
The fishing had been hard but Gardner & Knights were now on 6 fish and looking good for a podium finish at the very least. Cavaciuti & Burgess accounted for another fish which took them into 3rd place. With Clarke & Sherwood sat pretty in 2nd place as the competition entered its final night.
Only Clayton & Austin in peg 7 managed to catch a single fish during the night putting them within touching distance of a qualifying spot. Another run for the duo at 06:00hrs on the final morning would of seen them in a podium position but the fish was cut off on a snag on the far bank, a loss that would prove very costly.
Gardner & Knights/Clarke & Sherwood were now in a battle for 1sr place. Clarke & Sherwood struck 1st and bought them to within 11lb of the lead. They then had another run before the dreaded hook pull put pay to their charge. Gardner & Knights then struck with their final fish of the match to put some breathing space between them and 2nd place.
The battle for the remaining qualifying spot was hotting up now and it was Burgess & Cavaciuti who consolidated their 3rd spot with fish no3. They now were exactly 20lb ahead of Clayton & Austin in peg 7. With minutes remaining Clayton & Austin were in again and after a short battle slipped the net under another fish for the duo. The hooter sounded and the marshalls were quickly dispatched to confirm the weight, a nervous Burgess & Cavaciuti watched as the marshalls did the honours. They need not of worried as the fish weighed 14lb 11oz. A valient effort by Clayton & Austin, but they were 5lb 06oz off the 3rd place qualifying spot.
1st Place – Ryan Gardner & Andy Knights 7 Fish 89lb 03oz
2nd Place – Kev Clarke & Ste Sherwood 4 Fish 61lb 12oz
3rd Place – Rob Burgess & Marc Cavaciuti 3 Fish 49lb 14oz